By Cody Soto
Baylor men’s basketball junior forward Rico Gathers was named the Co-Big 12 Player of the Week, announced by the Big 12 conference Monday morning.
Gathers had a stellar week and helped lead the Bears to an 81-61 win over NAIA opponent Huston-Tillotson and a 69-58 win over Big 12 foe Oklahoma at the Ferrell Center. Gathers currently leads all Division I players with 5.72 offensive rebounds per game and ranks second in total rebounds per game with 12.2.
“He plays with a lot of heart and emotion. There’s not a lot of finesse in his game,” head coach Scott Drew said. “He does a tremendous job with his effort, his energy and working on becoming a better finisher. He’s really coming along.”
In Wednesday’s game against the Rams, the 6-foot-8 junior broke both a Big 12 and Baylor record with 28 rebounds and a career-high 25 points. Gathers broke the oldest record in Baylor program history; the previous leader was former player Jerry Mallett who has owned the title since 1955.
Gathers did not have monstrous numbers against No. 19 Oklahoma, but he posted eight points in the final stretch as the Bears went on a 23-9 run to seal the win on Saturday night. Gathers also contributed eight rebounds in the team’s third Big 12 win of the season.
This is the first Big 12 weekly award for the LaPlace, La. native and the 15th Baylor player to earn an honor in program history. Gathers shares the honor with Kansas State’s Nino Williams who posted over 20 points in the Wildcats’ two conference games last week.
The Bears return to action tomorrow night against Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. and will air on ESPNEWS.